Activity Introduction

Quick summary: Your school is a brilliant setting to address waste and shape behaviours in students that will last a lifetime. In this lesson, students will conduct a simple audit of the waste disposal systems at their school by counting the number and types of bins around the school (including rubbish bins, recycling bins and compost bins), and then by analysing the contents of the rubbish bins using photographs taken of rubbish bin contents. Students will then propose and implement actions for improving the waste disposal systems or waste generation at their school.

Cool Australia’s War On Waste lessons have been developed in partnership with Lune Media and with support from the Australian Environmental Grantmakers Network. These lessons have been designed to lead students through a deeper understanding of some of the big issues relating to waste in Australia and to support them to take action to reduce the impact of waste on our environment. To access the full War On Waste unit for Foundation to Year 3, click here.

Learning intentions:

  • Students understand what waste is
  • Students understand that there are a range of ways to dispose of waste at their school
  • Students recognise that not all waste is placed in the correct bins at their school
  • Students understand that they can help create change at their school.

21st century skills: 

Critical ThinkingCommunicatingTeam Work

 

 

 

 

Australian Curriculum Mapping

Content descriptions: 

Foundation Science

  • Objects are made of materials that have observable properties (ACSSU003)
  • Engage in discussions about observations and use methods such as drawing to represent ideas (ACSIS233)

Foundation Mathematics

  • Establish understanding of the language and processes of counting by naming numbers in sequences, initially to and from 20, moving from any starting point (ACMNA001)
  • Sort and classify familiar objects and explain the basis for these classifications. Copy, continue and create patterns with objects and drawings (ACMNA005)

Year 1 Science

  • People use science in their daily lives, including when caring for their environment and living things (ACSHE022)
  • Participate in different types of guided investigations to explore and answer questions, such as manipulating materials, testing ideas, and accessing information sources (ACSIS025)

Year 1 Mathematics

  • Recognise, model, read, write and order numbers to at least 100. Locate these numbers on a number line (ACMNA013)
  • Choose simple questions and gather responses (ACMSP262)

Year 1 HASS

  • Collect data and information from observations and identify information and data from sources provided (ACHASSI019)
  • Reflect on learning to propose how to care for places and sites that are important or significant (ACHASSI026)

Year 2 Science

  • Earth’s resources are used in a variety of ways (ACSSU032)
  • People use science in their daily lives, including when caring for their environment and living things (ACSHE035)

Year 2 Mathematics

  • Recognise, model, represent and order numbers to at least 1000 (ACMNA027)
  • Collect, check and classify data (ACMSP049)

Year 2 HASS

  • Collect data and information from observations and identify information and data from sources provided (ACHASSI035)

Year 3 Science

  • Science knowledge helps people to understand the effect of their actions (ACSHE051)

Year 3 Mathematics

  • Identify questions or issues for categorical variables. Identify data sources and plan methods of data collection and recording (ACMSP068)

Year 3 HASS

  • Locate and collect information and data from different sources, including observations (ACHASSI053)
  • Reflect on learning to propose actions in response to an issue or challenge and consider possible effects of proposed actions (ACHASSI060)

Syllabus outcomes: STe-9ME, ST1-11LW, ST1-9ES, ST2-11LW, MAe‑1WM, MAe‑2WM, MAe‑3WM, MAe‑8NA, MA1‑1WM, MA1‑2WM, MA1‑3WM, MA1‑4NA, MA2-18SP, MA2‑1WM, MA2‑2WM, MA2‑3WM, GE1-3, GE2-4.

General capabilities: Critical and Creative Thinking, Numeracy.

Cross-curriculum priority: Sustainability OI.7, OI.9

Relevant parts of Foundation achievement standards:

  • Science – Students describe the properties and behaviour of familiar objects. They share and reflect on observations.
  • Mathematics – Students group objects based on common characteristics and sort shapes and objects.

Relevant parts of Year 1 achievement standards:

  • Science – Students describe objects and events that they encounter in their everyday lives, and participate in guided investigations of everyday phenomena.
  • Mathematics – Students count to and from 100. They collect data by asking questions, draw simple data displays and make simple inferences.
  • HASS – Students respond to questions about familiar and unfamiliar places by locating and interpreting information from sources provided. They reflect on their learning to suggest ways that places can be cared for.

Relevant parts of Year 2 achievement standards:

  • Science – Students identify that certain materials and resources have different uses and describe examples of where science is used in people’s daily lives.
  • Mathematics – Students count to and from 1000. They collect, organise and represent data to make simple inferences.
  • HASS – Students locate information from observations and from sources provided.

Relevant parts of Year 3 achievement standards:

  • Science – Students describe how they can use science investigations to respond to questions.
  • Mathematics – Students conduct simple data investigations for categorical variables.
  • HASS – Students locate and collect information from sources, including observations. They reflect on their learning to suggest individual action in response to an issue or challenge.

Topic: Waste, Sustainability. 

Unit of work: War On Waste – Foundation to Year 3

Time required: 120 mins.

Level of teacher scaffolding: High – lead students in discussion and audit.

Resources required:

  • Device with internet and presentation capability
  • Landfill lmage
  • Student Worksheet
  • Waste items found in your classroom bin (such as old paper, bottles, drinking straws, bottle tops or food wrappers). Try to pick a range of waste materials, including some that can be recycled and some that can’t. Ensure all items are thoroughly clean and any sharp parts are covered in tape.
  • Waste Safety Code (optional)

Keywords: War On Waste, waste, audit, school, bins. 

Cool Australia’s curriculum team continually reviews and refines our resources to be in line with changes to the Australian Curriculum.

Worksheets

Teacher Worksheet

Teacher Preparation

Learning intentions: Students will... 

  • ... understand what waste is
  • ... understand that there are a range of ways to dispose of waste at their school
  • ... recognise that not all waste is placed in the correct bins at their school
  • ... understand that they can help create change at their school.

Success criteria: Students can…

  • … participate in an audit
  • … assist with data collection and recording
  • … work collaboratively
  • … participate in class discussions
  • … propose and implement actions for change.

Teacher content information: In Australia, we began addressing the issue of waste in the 1960s and '70s with litter campaigns like Keep Australia Beautiful and Tidy Town Awards. With such a long history of waste reduction campaigns, you would think we had got on top of the waste issue; however, as the recent recycling crisis shows, we're still trying to solve the issue of waste in Australia.

Why is this the case? War On Waste, highlighted the con

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Student Worksheet

Thought starter: How many different types of waste do you make in one day?

How many bins are at your school?

You'll need to check all the rooms in the school, and look at bins in hallways and corridors. Use the table below to record the number of bins:

Location of bin

Number of rubbish bins

Number of bins for recycling Number of bins for food scraps
Classrooms
Main office
Other offices
Staffroom
Library
Sports room
Sick room
Canteen
Toilets
Other rooms
Hallways/corridors
Outside bins
Total

What's in the bins?

Inside bin - Look closely at the photo of what’s in the bin. Record what you can see in the table below:

Items you can see

How many of each item can you see?
Total:

Outside bin - Look closely at the photo of what’s in the bin. R

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